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Sunday, December 07, 2014

RIVER OF EXPLODING DURIANS 1st screening @ Cambodia International Film Festival + Nguyễn Võ Nghiêm Minh's NUOC 2030

(Screenshot of NUOC 2030, NOT River of Exploding Durians!)

Yesterday was the Cambodian premiere of RIVER OF EXPLODING DURIANS.

I took the Tuk Tuk to the Platinum Cinema in Sorya Shopping Center. Taking a Tuk Tuk to a film festival screening? I don't think I've ever done it before. What an interesting experience!

Sadly, these were the only photos I took that are related to the screening. :(

After the screening, I stayed around so I could catch the screening of Nguyễn Võ Nghiêm Minh's NUOC 2030, this year's opening film of the Berlinale Panorama.

I actually met Nguyễn Võ 4 years ago at Tokyo International Film Festival 2010. At that time, he came to catch the screenings of my short film INHALATION and Ming Jin's THE TIGER FACTORY (which were played back to back at the festival). I remember very well when he told me how he liked INHALATION, it was humbling.

So I was thrilled to catch NUOC 2030 after missing it in Busan.

I'll expand upon what I wrote on my Facebook post.

So yes, NUOC 2030 is a Vietnamese film set in the future, where most of the world is submerged under water due to global warming.

It's not really science fiction, but more speculative fiction. It's highly atmospheric and beautifully shot. Loved the fact that during Q and A session, the director mentioned how magical realist literature, especially the works of Gabriel Garcia Marquez, influenced his filmmaking. It's the same for me (Did papers on magical realism for my Masters and PhD, I'm quite a fan)

At its core, it's really a love triangle. A woman investigating the mysterious death of her husband, while having flashbacks of their lives together. And then, once she finds the man who is possibly behind her husband's death, we jump to another series of flashback, which changes everything we knew about the film up until that point. Quite an intriguing structure.

So yeah, it's quite a cool experience, watching a futuristic Vietnamese film. (while it's actually shot in contemporary Vietnam, kinda like Godard's Alphaville, but with more water)

A dystopian film set in a Southeast Asian country. How I wish I can do that in Malaysia too. Loose adaptation of the Hang Tuah story, with a sentient supercomputer as Sultan? Hmmmm...